Pitching: RHP Joba Chamberlain (7-2, 3.58).
RED SOX (62-44)
Pitching: RHP John Smoltz (2-4, 7.12).
TIME/TV: 7:05, 7:05 / My9, MLB.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees have won three straight and are coming off a 5-4 road trip to Tampa Bay, Chicago and Toronto. They lead Boston by 2.5 games in the American League.
AS YOU MAY HAVE HEARD, THERE’S A STREAK: Boston is 8-0 against New York this season, outscoring the Yankees 55-31. The Red Sox have won nine straight in the series dating back to the final game of last season.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PITCHING: Why the eight losses? The Yankees have a 6.06 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP in the games against Boston this season. They’ve allowed 78 hits and a ridiculous 48 walks in 68.1 innings.
JOBAMANIA: Joba Chamberlain is 3-0 with an 0.83 ERA since the All-Star break. He has allowed only eight hits over 21.2 innings while walking eight and striking out 19.
JOBABOSTONMANIA: Chamberlain is 2-1, 3.49 in his career against the Red Sox in four starts and four relief appearances.
JOBA THE STARTER: Remember that debate about whether he belonged in the bullpen? That was cute. He is 10-3, 3.27 as a starter.
ON A ROLL: The Yankees have won 14 of their last 19 games and 25 of their last 35.
NOT ON A ROLL: The Red Sox are 7-10 since July 17 and a modest 24-20 since June 13.
MARIANO REMINDER: The greatest closer of all time has gone 19.1 innings without allowing a run. He has struck out 18 in that that stretch.
SWISHALICIOUS: Nick Swisher is 11 of his last 34 with six extra-base hits.
DAMONIC: Johnny Damon in 10 of his last 22 with to homers and six RBI.
A-ROD OVERDUE: Alex Rodriguez has gone 61 at-bats since his last home run, which came on July 19.
ON THE iPOD RIGHT NOW: Once Upon A Time in the West by Ennio Morricone.
Back with much more later on.
UPDATE, 4:45 p.m.: Yankees will stick with the extra reliever for another day. But expect Ramiro Pena soon. … Brett Gardner will get his cast off early next week and have another X-Ray to determine how he is. … Jason Bay (hamstring) out at least two days it sounds like. … Yankees expect a sellout or close to it. Ridiculous that’s it’s uncertain.
UPDATE, 5:05 p.m.: NBA players Al Harrington and Chris Duhon watching BP.
UPDATE, 5:19 p.m.: David Ortiz came out for BP just now. No signs, no boos, no nothing. Kid in a Cano jersey asked him for an autograph.
UPDATE, 6:51 p.m.: Muhammad Ali now being driven around the warning track on a golf cart. He stopped to shake hands with Jorge Posada. Most of the Yankees in the dugout applauding him.
For my money, Ali is the most famous guy in the world. Who doesn’t know who he is?
UPDATE, 6:59 p.m.: The Yankees received some award for stadium hospitality services that Ali “presented.” The whole team came out at the end around him.
Meanwhile — get this — Ali is wearing a credential. Security at the Stadium is so blindingly stupid that Muhammad Ali had to wear a credential. That makes perfect sense. He could have been trying to sneak in.
UPDATE, 7:02 p.m.: The Red Sox placed outfielder Rocco Baldelli on the DL with a bruised ankle/foot. Baldelli fouled a ball off his left leg during batting practice on Wednesday in Tampa. The Sox recalled Josh Reddick, who wasn’t expected to arrive until around game time. Reddick, an outfielder, made his major league debut on July 31 and played four games before he was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday in favor of left-handed pitcher Billy Traber.
UPDATE, 7:09 p.m.: The first pitch is about to be thrown and there are literally hundreds of empty seats in the Legends section. Not a few, hundreds.
Red Sox-Yankees, perfect night, two of the best teams in baseball, Joba pitching and those “fans” don’t actually care to watch the game. It’s a disgrace. The Yankees have removed the home-field advantage with their ridiculous ticket prices and exclusionary design.
UPDATE, 7:09 p.m.: We’re underway in the Bronx. Enjoy the game, should be a fun one.
UPDATE, 7:17 p.m.: David Ortiz getting roundly booed by the crowd. No chants, however.
UPDATE, 7:28 p.m.: Wow, John Hughes died. There’s another piece of my youth gone.
In honor of Mr Hughes: Hey batter batter batter hey batter batter batter SWING batter!
UPDATE, 7:36 p.m.: The Yankees removed the netting above Monument Cave in center field. You can sort of see the tops of the monuments now. A safety net was in place during batting practice. … Meanwhile the bad pre-game All-Star break Joba has showed up tonight. Two hits and two walks and he has yet to get an out in the second inning.
UPDATE, 7:44 p.m.: Joba comes roaring back with strikeouts of Lowrie and Ellsbury to end the inning.
UPDATE, 7:56 p.m.: Posada is safe if he slides. But he didn’t and that could be because Melky didn’t tell him too. Can’t tell on the replay. But something went wrong there. Yankees blow a big chance.
Great relay throw by Pedroia. Yankees threaten but do not score. Story of the game for both teams so far.
UPDATE, 8:01 p.m.: Yankee Stadium special there for Pedroia. That’s an out across the street. 1-0 Red Sox.
UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: You would think Joba would learn. He’s up 0-2 on Pedroa and he shakes off Posada then serves up an opposite-field home run. Here’s a thought, throw what they tell you to throw. That worked well the last three starts.
UPDATE, 8:14 p.m.: Going to e-mail me again and tell me Ellsbury isn’t a good CF? That’s a terrific catch. Defensive metrics are fundamentally flawed and only somewhat telling.
UPDATE, 8:16 p.m.: Another cheapie, this one for the Yankees. It’s 1-1. This joint was built for JD.
UPDATE, 8:27 p.m.: Muhammad Ali will be back tomorrow to give Randy Levine and Lonn Trost the award for biggest joke of a stadium in the major leagues. That should not be a home run in a big-league game. But it is here. 3-1 Red Sox.
UPDATE, 8:39 p.m.: There goes Posada, killing the Yankees again by doubling and scoring a run. Terrible player.
UPDATE, 8:44 p.m.: Melky with a legit blast into the second deck. Yankees 5-3. Eight runs on 12 hits and four homers and it’s the fourth inning. Buckle in, folks.